Final Report Summary - STRUBOLI (Structure and Bonding at Oxide-Liquid Interfaces)
Oxide-water interfaces are ubiquitous in nature and technology. Fundamental understanding of the chemistry and physics of these interfaces requires knowledge of the interfacial processes at the atomic or molecular level. The present project has addressed this topic from the viewpoint of surface science by utilizing well-defined surfaces of thin, single-crystalline oxide films and a combination of in-situ and ex-situ characterization techniques. While the structure of the interfacial water layers at oxide-solution interfaces remained to a large extent unexplored, several other important issues have been successfully revealed. These include very fundamental aspects such as the atomistic understanding of the hydroxylation of oxide surfaces, processes of environmental relevance such as the stability of oxides in various solution environments and the binding of organic matter on oxide surfaces, electrochemical processes including potential-induced dissolution of thin oxide films, which is of importance in corrosion science, and the adsorption of metal salts and their subsequent thermal decomposition on oxide surfaces mimicking the preparation process of technical catalysts. These examples underline the interdisciplinary character of this research project.